What a Difference a Year Makes

I must say, I’m totally digging the new Covid digital certificate issued by Sergas Galicia (Galician Health Service). They sent us texts about it yesterday. I just logged in, and now it’s on my phone ready to whip out upon request whenever it’s needed.

The EU member states have agreed to issue Covid and vaccine certificates that act as a passport to skip the line for any quarantine, or in leu of proof of a negative PCR test for those who want to travel to, or within the EU. And they are extending it to those from outside the bloc, too. Hopefully, when Emilie comes we can take her up to the HULA in Lugo and get her one, too.

Bravo to the Spanish government for being an early adopter. The certificate is issued in all three languages – Gallego, Castillano, and Ingles. If you have passed the disease, as I have, it will show in your health record. But if it was more than six month since your last negative test they recommend you get the full course for the vaccine to boost antibodies. And use the vaccine certificate as your proof of immunity.

The document shows I have had 1/2 required shots to obtain the full benefit. Halfway there. Having the vaccine certificate show up in my Sergas health record feels like a bit of a security blanket.

I know there has been controversy about ‘vaccine passports’ and government tracking throughout the pandemic. Vaccines in general seem to have taken on a political life of their own in recent years. But I have no such qualms about any of it. Due to mass vaccination programs, medical breakthroughs, and improved nutrition, life expectancy jumped from living only into your late 40’s or early 50’s in 1900 – to your mid 70’s by the year 2000 in the US. Science works. I’m thrilled to able to bet on that.

Inoculating my kids against preventable childhood diseases that might have killed them a century ago, always seemed like a happy day to me. Sure, sometimes they might run a temperature but the brief discomfort was worth it. They could toddle off to preschool safe.

Contagion is dropping here like a rock, as more and more people get the jab. Every day there is talk that outdoor masks will shortly be a thing of the past. Just under 55% of us in Galicia have received one dose. And nearly 35% have the full course. Almost 10 points higher than the national average. Jeff gets his second shot this Wednesday. Mine should come the following week. Then, just like our kids, we will be able to toddle through our summer safely – along with the rest of Spain. Vaccine certificate in hand. What a difference a year makes.

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